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State Schools Failing

Postby dwarp » Sun Feb 7, 13:45 2010

I don't really know if this is ranting or advice or what, but it's about school so I figured I'd put it here. I go to a state school in Illinois. Illinois is SERIOUSLY in debt. My school is suffering a ton! They've asked teachers to take 4 days off without pay, they're encouraging older faculty to retire, they firing a lot of non-professor faculty, and limiting our course selections by a lot. My tuition is a fixed rate (that's not to say anything is stopping them from raising it anyway), but they're cutting costs in a lot of areas. They're eliminating the "cultural centers", like the GLBT center and the Latino Cultural center. Basically anything that isn't absolutely required to run a university is being eliminated. The University of Illinois (on all three campuses) is owed $430+ dollars by the state. They have received $7 million.

I was just wondering if anyone else has been affected by the economy in their schooling? I know that Michigan and California are the two states currently poorer than Illinois, but I didn't know if this was happening elsewhere. If I were not in my last three semesters at this school, I would seriously consider transferring. One of my professors even told us "you are going to have no classes to choose from next year and if you can get scholarships to a private institution, do it. Transfer." This scares me, because I have certain classes I'll need to graduate! We keep getting budget update e-mails from our dean.

Is public education going down the drain? Will it ever get better?
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby helium » Sun Feb 7, 14:12 2010

Tuition is going WAY up at California's state schools as far as I know, and a lot of other schools (like the community college I'm going to) are having their funding cut way back, especially in the tutoring, English and art departments. I know the UCs are having to take furlough days, something like 4 a semester, but I don't know if they're having classes cut way back. My school is cutting every class that doesn't have 15 people in it-- I think that's a fairly common thing for CCs, though, since they don't always have a lot of money. There's a lot more going on at the state level that I don't know about, because I'm busy being mad that I can't take Intermediate Sign Language and that my tuition went from $20 a unit to $26.

California is in trouble. Big, fat, ugly trouble. I'm an optimist, so I'm hoping that the schools won't be suffering for too long, but realistically it'll probably be a while before they're back to pre-my-generation-going-to-college levels, if ever. Obama said a lot in his State of the Union speech about federal government helping higher education more, but we'll see what happens there.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Neko » Sun Feb 7, 15:29 2010

Rock Valley College is building a new center for science and math classes/labs. So, they can't be doing that badly. Tuition seems slightly higher than it was when I first attended.

Other than that, I haven't heard anything.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby dwarp » Sun Feb 7, 15:38 2010

Neko wrote:Rock Valley College is building a new center for science and math classes/labs. So, they can't be doing that badly. Tuition seems slightly higher than it was when I first attended.

Other than that, I haven't heard anything.


My school just spent $68,000 on a single bathroom.

http://cbs2chicago.com/local/uic.restro ... 50850.html
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Neko » Sun Feb 7, 16:07 2010

That's... just horrible.

At least the science and math center will be useful.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby rowan » Sun Feb 7, 21:37 2010

I know faculty in both the IL and the CA systems and it's really hurting them hard. And it's frustrating to read - the faculty want to offer more classes but can't because there's no money. More people are going to college, because that's what happens when unemployment goes up. So more people want to take classes, and yet they're being cut drastically. It's totally different than in previous recessions, because during those, there was still money for education. Now...

I haven't heard stories from other states, but in mostly that's due to where I have contacts who are willing to blog about things.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby SakuraSong » Mon Feb 15, 17:17 2010

Our tuition's being raised, but that's it. As a liberal arts school, they wouldn't dare cut social science and English classes...nothing spells hypocrite bigger than that.

But we seem to have more useless classes than ever. A whole class (just for $300!) on why Obama fails? Sign me up. Not.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby monk » Wed Feb 17, 16:05 2010

I'm not so worried about upper education as I am about the lower education that precedes it. For every cut made to upper education the Universities have the ability to hopefully raise money through other means (alumni, athletics, research grants,etc). Public K-12 schools don't have those tools at their disposal and they suffer more cuts than the Uni's do.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby rowan » Wed Feb 17, 16:30 2010

While I will agree that K-12 suffer (generally) more than higher education, with far more detrimental results down the line, I disagree that the current budget issues in higher education are capable of being countered by other means.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Barkey » Wed Feb 17, 19:13 2010

helium wrote:Tuition is going WAY up at California's state schools as far as I know, and a lot of other schools (like the community college I'm going to) are having their funding cut way back, especially in the tutoring, English and art departments. I know the UCs are having to take furlough days, something like 4 a semester, but I don't know if they're having classes cut way back. My school is cutting every class that doesn't have 15 people in it-- I think that's a fairly common thing for CCs, though, since they don't always have a lot of money. There's a lot more going on at the state level that I don't know about, because I'm busy being mad that I can't take Intermediate Sign Language and that my tuition went from $20 a unit to $26.

California is in trouble. Big, fat, ugly trouble. I'm an optimist, so I'm hoping that the schools won't be suffering for too long, but realistically it'll probably be a while before they're back to pre-my-generation-going-to-college levels, if ever. Obama said a lot in his State of the Union speech about federal government helping higher education more, but we'll see what happens there.


And the worst part is Arnold is doing everything he can by cutting parts of the budget to pay for others, but of course the people those sections of the budget affect are none too happy. What a thankless job. At least he's making the effort to get us more money instead of blowing it on outrageously expensive programs while we're already WAAAAAY in Debt. (Universal Healthcare, I'm looking at you, you expensive beast.)
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby monk » Wed Feb 17, 21:18 2010

Barkey wrote: (Universal Healthcare, I'm looking at you, you expensive beast.)


/off topic, maybe so, but it's the right thing to do. Sometimes morality has to trump economics.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby rowan » Thu Mar 18, 7:39 2010

A lot of the issues going on (except in really bad situations like IL or CA) are going on behind the scenes. Universities and faculty don't want to impact the students if they can at all help it. From what I can tell most things at universities around here are going fairly smoothly for the students.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Astrid » Sat Mar 20, 14:29 2010

monk wrote:
Barkey wrote: (Universal Healthcare, I'm looking at you, you expensive beast.)


/off topic, maybe so, but it's the right thing to do. Sometimes morality has to trump economics.

It's not the right thing to do if government mandates that everybody MUST purchase health insurance or be fined.

The reason they want to mandate the health insurance OR make people pay fines is to subsidize the system. So, person A pays for themselves and also pays for person B.

Anytime you have a a situation where the fruits of one man's labor is forcibly taken from him and given to another, it's slavery. Forcing a percent of the population to provide for others, is morally and ethically wrong. You cannot achieve a just and equitable society be forcing a percentage of the population to become slave labor for the benefit of another segment of the population. You cannot achieve right, by doing wrong.

That is "any means to an end". I reject that, in my society.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Astrid » Sat Mar 20, 14:32 2010

dwarp wrote:Is public education going down the drain? Will it ever get better?

Actually, public education is pretty good right now. If you want some comparisons, just do an indepth study on the history of education in America. We live in good times.

But, I will also say this: I'm in the neighboring state of Indiana. We have major budget cuts here too. Indiana has to cut 150 million for the higher education budget by next year. My university will take 12.5 million in cuts.

The governor of my state is visiting the universities to talk to students about the budget cuts. Becuase our state has lost so many jobs, our tax base is way down. It may be a while before employment levels rise, and the tax base with it.

My university announced that no programs will be cut that affect the students or education. The cuts are being made in university staff, jobs, equipment, etc. Last fall quite a few long-term university coaches were replaced. (with people that start at a lower salary level, no doubt)

Other staff and department cuts are being made by combining resources, sharing staff members, etc. It will be hard for the decisions to be made that will absorb 12.5 million in one year time, without impacting education.

But, all things considered, we live in amazing wonderful times!

My campus recently had some students from South Africa visiting here for 6 weeks. Hearing their observations and comments about my university reemphasized to me how lucky we are here in the US. Things we take for granted, like fast internet, and an autonomous student body that functions without curfews. (seriously, that was one of the things a SA student mentioned, that here the students can stay up all night, and then go to class...and it's their business.)

Anyway, to celebrate the wonderful amazing times we live in, here's a clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOtEQB-9tvk
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby dwarp » Sat Mar 20, 18:09 2010

Living in Senegal for awhile, I can tell you, South Africa has it good. ;-) I know what you're trying to say, that we do have a higher quality of education and yeah, obviously better access to technology than some places. What worries me is that we have a job market which relies heavily on reputable education, that I'm paying $25,000 a year to have a better chance at getting a job in the future. It worries me that all first, second, and third year teachers in my former school district have been given pink slips. Sure, we "have it good", but we're used to a higher level of commitment to public education than what we currently have.
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Re: State Schools Failing

Postby Astrid » Sat Mar 20, 22:18 2010

dwarp wrote:Living in Senegal for awhile, I can tell you, South Africa has it good. ;-) I know what you're trying to say, that we do have a higher quality of education and yeah, obviously better access to technology than some places. What worries me is that we have a job market which relies heavily on reputable education, that I'm paying $25,000 a year to have a better chance at getting a job in the future. It worries me that all first, second, and third year teachers in my former school district have been given pink slips. Sure, we "have it good", but we're used to a higher level of commitment to public education than what we currently have.

Hi dwarp. Yeah,I guess everything's relative. SA has it good compared to Senegal, and Senegal probably has it good compared to Haiti.
It's really cool that you have that perspective, having lived in Senegal for a while.

I think part of what your seeing is your particular state financial issues. Teachers here are not all being layed-off or fired in my state. But, I have read about Illinois's financial problems that last few years. Don't you guys have a whole wing of a state prison just for former Illinois governors because they keep getting convicted of stealing and stuff? (hehe..kidding, although I do think I read that the last several Ill governors were in prison)

Historically, since the end of WWII, there has been a high level of commitment to public education and higher education. Before that point in time, not so much. So, for the last 60 years, yes...there has been a lot of money spent on education.

But, we're entering a new era. Traditional bricks and mortar education will taper off...and online and distance education will dramatically increase. All over universities are already offering degrees online. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. In the future, you will be able to get almost any accredited degree totally online. No need for expensive schools.

Not sure what degree you're seeking, but here's a couple of links for you to check out:

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm

That one above is the MIT OpenCourseWare site. ALL MIT courses are available online..for free. Now, you don't the credits, but you can take the course,learn the material. Then of course a course elsewhere would be a piece of cake compared to an MIT course.

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm

That above is a new online school. Created by an amazing educator and businessman. He has major backing, and support in the education community. That school will be applying for accreditation, so bookmark it.

Those are just a few of things that are changing the way we do education. You mentioned the job market. Start now to change your thinking from the traditional....degree = job. Incidentally, Bill Gates & Steve Jobs are both college drop outs. JK Rowling, has a degree, that did not help her get a job. http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement ... magination

They created their own work. Now, they are at the high end of the creative self-employed people, but it is their thinking that needs to be studied. You do not need to rely on others to give you a traditional job or a paycheck. Start now, by thinking like an entrepreneur.
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